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On May 28, 2014, Jim Frankish led a workshop titled “Comorbidity and Homelessness: Experiences from the National Canadian at Home Study” at the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The workshop is based on our Centre’s collaboration on the At Home/Chez Soi study on supportive housing for homeless persons.

Faith Eiboff, a Ph.D. student in the School of Population and Public Health, has been awarded a CIHR Dissemination Events grant to support and extend the reach of the peer-led Speakers Bureau that was created out of the Vancouver At Home research project. The Speakers Bureau provides a platform for people with histories of homelessness and mental illness to engage with the community, open the dialogue on stigma and issues related to mental health and homelessness, and discuss the impact of Housing First in their lives – an emerging service model that serves to transition the most vulnerable homeless individuals into permanent housing.

The Speakers Bureau has received considerable accolades from diverse stakeholders within the community for generating candid, engaging and educational discussions which challenge the myths and stereotypes often associated with people who have experienced chronic homelessness. Notable media and public speaking engagements to date include: French CBC Radio Canada; The Globe and Mail; BC Housing; and the Mayor’s Round Table on Mental Illness and Addiction.

Under the Dissemination Grant, Speakers Bureau members will be connected to researchers, offering new opportunities to present their ‘insider’ knowledge alongside the dissemination of study results to diverse audiences in policy, academic and non-academic settings. This participatory and capacity-building approach to knowledge exchange will advance mutual learning, promote more informed and balanced policy discussions, and share power in decision-making with people who have historically been excluded from conversations about the development of policies and programming that directly impacts their lives.

Speakers Bureau members are already looking forward to participating in two national conferences with researchers. Two women from the Bureau will be panelists at the 2nd National Forum on Women’s Homelessness in London, Ontario, May 12-14, 2014: “Women, Housing First, and Recovery: Findings from the Vancouver At Home/Chez Soi Project” and a Bureau member will close a symposium entitled “Homelessness, Victimization, Violence and the Criminal Justice System: Results of the At Home/Chez Soi Study” at the 75th Annual Canadian Psychological Association Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 5-7, 2014.

The dissemination grant reflects a collaborative academic-community partnership alongside the Vancouver Housing First Speakers Bureau citizen group. Faith Eiboff is the Nominated Principal Applicant, and Aaron Munro is the Co-Principal Applicant (Community Development Manager from RainCity Housing and Support Society). Co-Applicants include Jim Frankish, Michael Krausz, Tonia Nicholls, and Verena Strehlau (all from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine). Faith is supervised by Drs. Frankish and Nicholls, and is the recipient of numerous competitive scholarships and awards including a CIHR Doctoral Research Award (2013-2016).

For more information:

You can watch Here at Home: In Search of a Cure for a 21st Century Crisis, an interactive web documentary produced in partnership by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the National Film Board of Canada, which features a short video of the Speakers Bureau in action: Seen and Heard.

If you wish to book a Speakers Bureau member to speak at an event or do an interview, please contact Aaron Munro at RainCity Housing: amunro@raincityhousing.org or 604-375-9130.

Jim Frankish and co-authors Chris Lovato and Iraj Poureslami have updated their chapter on “Models, Theories, and Principles of Health Promotion and Their Use with Multicultural Populations” in the recent January 2014 release of the third edition of the book titled Health Promotion in Multicultural Populations: A Handbook for Practitioners and Students.

The chapter presents five prevalent models for health education (e.g. social learning theory, etc.), several ecological models (e.g., Precede-Proceed, etc.), and discusses setting standards for multicultural health promotion. On completing the chapter, health promotion students and practitioners will be able to identify and define the levels of change sought by programs at the health promotion and health education levels.

The College of Health Disciplines at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has awarded the 2013 BC Health Association Legacy Award to Jim Frankish (UBC Professor) and Greg Richmond (RainCity and Housing Support Society) for their commitment and leadership on the At Home/Chez Soi project. At Home provides housing, and health and social supports to persons with significant mental illness and addiction.

Jim and Greg are named on the award as nominated by Catherine Hume from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and Dr. Kerry Jang from the City of Vancouver. Greg and Jim wish to highlight that this award is first to the At Home participants, and next to the service providers, policy makers, funders, health professionals, students and researchers who comprise the At Home Team. The $500 award will be used to support the ongoing work of the peer-led, At Home Speakers Bureau.

Nominations were solicited for this award of an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the development of health policy, health leadership or healthcare governance. The winner of this award may be a student or faculty/staff member at UBC, or an individual or group who is independent of UBC.

For a list of selected publications from the At Home project, please visit our Centre’s At Home page.

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